History’s crisis detectives: How we’re using maths and data to reveal why societies collapse – and clues about the future

Daniel Hoyer The Conversation February 18, 2024 Link

Intro:

American humorist and writer Mark Twain is believed to have once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

I’ve been working as a historian and complexity scientist for the better part of a decade, and I often think about this phrase as I follow different strands of the historical record and notice the same patterns over and over.

My background is in ancient history. As a young researcher, I tried to understand why the Roman Empire became so big and what ultimately led to its downfall. Then, during my doctoral studies, I met the evolutionary biologist turned historian Peter Turchin, and that meeting had a profound impact on my work.

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